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The Hate Crimes Prevention Act Will Not Prevent Hate Crimes I am not anti-gay nor am I opposed to gay rights I believe that same sex couples should be allowed to marry and to adopt children Also openly homosexual individuals should be eligible for service in the military Despite this acceptance of peoples homosexuality I hold that the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is unnecessary in the United States I understand that gays and lesbians live in fear of being attacked but who can be sure that new legislation would deter criminals when existing assault and battery laws do not This bill will only complicate the overburdened legal system confuse the law and violate constitutional rights It is dificult enough for prosecutors to get convictions on criminals This bill will add the complication of motive to the trials Instead of simply proving that a person committed a crime the prosecutors will have to prove that the motive behind the crime was pure hatred of homosexuals The motive element will place unneeded pressure on the lawyers and keep dangerous criminals on the streets Another problem with the Act is that it will confuse the law What exactly is a hate crime Who gets to decide Is it the victim The perpetrator The jury There are too many possibilities for conflicting judgments A mugging could be misconstrued as a hate crime and the offender could be sentenced more harshly than if his victim were a heterosexual I understand that this is protection for the criminal instead of the victim but criminals have the right to a fair trial and protection from double jeopardy A person can only be tried once for a crime unless new evidence can be presented against him or her The Act will allow the federal court to try a person after he has been acquitted by the state court without having to supply additional
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